Dodgers: Three Non-Tendered Players That Could Fill Holes for LA
2. Hunter Strickland (Reliever)
The only player on this list with experience in the NL West, Strickland may have the most upside of any pitcher on this list.
A flamethrower who has averaged 97mph on his fastball in his career according to Fangraphs, Strickland struggled to perform last season, despite being the Giants’ primary closer to start the year. He racked up 14 saves early on in the season before going on the DL for two months after breaking his finger after punching a wall in mid-June.
Strickland never regained his role at the backend of the Giants bullpen, ceding save opportunities to Will Smith. His effectiveness was worse than at any point in his MLB career. From 2015 to 2017, Strickland never had an ERA above 3.10, but his 2018 ERA was 3.97.
Part of the reason why may be due to his fastball. According to Fangraphs Pitch Info, Strickland threw the fastball nearly 5% less than he had in 2017, and had a negative pitch value on his favorite pitch for the first time in his career.
If Strickland can regain his fastball, he should be able to provide a valuable season in a setup role for Los Angeles, a la 2017 Brandon Morrow, as he has demonstrated the ability to throw hard and strike batters out.